Birmingham & Black Country

Bilston polluted canal: Oxygen levels improving

The dead fish in the canal
Image caption The leaked chemicals caused oxygen levels in the water to drop

Oxygen levels have improved in a Wolverhampton canal following efforts to save thousands of fish.

Chemicals leaked into the Wyrley and Essington canal following a fire at an industrial site in Bilston.

The chemicals caused the oxygen levels in the water to drop rapidly which suffocated about 10,000 fish.

But 1,210 kg (190st 7.6lb) of fish have been rescued by The Environment Agency and British Waterways and oxygen levels are increasing.

The fire last month hit five separate firms in Millfields Road in Bilston.

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said on Tuesday evening workers pumped the polluted water into a sewer after the canal was closed off.

She said: "Initial reading indicates that dissolved oxygen levels are improving along the Wyrley and Essington Canal.

"We are continuing to monitor and will continue pumping polluted water until we are satisfied the canal can be reopened with no risk to the fish population."

She added they were continuing to rescue fish and move them to uncontaminated areas of the canal.

They are also treating the affected water with hydrogen peroxide which improves oxygen levels.

She said: "It is apparent that the fish moved in front of the pollution and have become concentrated in a small area.

"The amount of fish rescued in the short section near Sneyd Junction is equivalent to the population that would normally be found in over six kilometres of canal."

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